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South Lakes High School Alum Returns to Reston to Debut New Children’s Book

Ethan Berlin has written for various comedians’ shows including George Lopez, Jon Stewart and Sarah Silverman. But his latest venture is writing a children’s book.

Berlin will be returning to his roots in Reston on June 2 (Saturday) to read his debut children’s book “The Hugely-Wugely Spider” at Scrawl Books. The reading will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The story tells the tale of the Itsy-Bitsy’s spider’s larger counterpart, who can’t fit into the water spout.

Part of the idea for the story came about when he was singing the Itsy-Bitsy Spider to one of his two kids. Berlin added that he was typically the bigger kid in his class growing up and always wondered if a bigger version of the Itsy-Bitsy Spider existed.

A 1995 graduate of South Lakes High School, Berlin said he loved doing theatre and comedy during his time at SLHS.

“The thing I lived for at South Lakes was theatre,” he said.

Berlin described himself as a “weirdo” in high school and said he’s grateful for how nicely he was treated at SLHS.

Now living in New Jersey, Berlin said he’s excited to read to kids in Reston and catching up with old friends. And if he could somehow maintain his comedy and writing career from Reston he said he would move back.

Image via Scrawl Books’ website

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Sold-Out ‘Who is the Black Panther?’ Debuts at Scrawl Books; Author to Sign Advance Copies

Jesse Holland’s novel “Who is the Black Panther?” will debut at Scrawl Books (11911 Freedom Drive) on Saturday (April 28) for one day only ahead of its general release on May 8. Holland will visit the store at 4 pm.. to sign advance copies and lead a discussion on the novel.

The special event is in honor of Independent Book Store Day, which celebrates the impact of indie book shops on their communities.

The novel follows the story of the Black panther, a warrior-king, who leads the imaginary African nation of Wakanda. The country, rich with technological advancements, faces ruin as outsiders attempt to plunder its riches.

The day-long event includes the following program, provided by Scrawl Books:

10 a.m.: Meet and greet with Maisy the Mouse at Scrawl Books. Young fans are invited to meet Maisy, take photos and enjoy drinks and snacks courtesy of the Reston Town Center. 

10:30 a.m.: Author Ann Marie Stephens visits Scrawl to read from her best-selling picture books, Cy Makes a Friend and Scuba Dog.  Ann Marie will read to the audience, sign books and lead a fun STEM activity for kids of all ages. 

12:30 p.m.: Author Megan Wagner Lloyd joins the party at Scrawl to read from her children’s book, Fort-Building Time.  Following the story, Fort-Building becomes a reality inside the store when the author and her fans gather up boxes, blankets and tape, and build a giant fort. 

4 p.m. : Author Jesse J. Holland, Who is the Black Panther? debuts the paperback version of his sold-out novel, 10 days before its general release.  Holland will lead a discussion on the book, as well as sign copies for fans.  Following the event, the paperback will be removed from the shelves until May 8. 

Photo by Marvel

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Reston Native Kwame Alexander to Bring Book Tour to Scrawl Books

Reston native Kwame Alexander will be returning to the area at Scrawl Books on Thursday (April 5) to meet readers and sign copies of his new novel “Rebound.”

Alexander has won a Newbery Medal for his book “The Crossover.” His most recent book “Rebound” is a prequel to the award-winning novel and shows a glimpse of the childhood of Chuck Bell and how he became a huge fan of jazz and a basketball star.

“We try to forge connections between the people in our community and the authors, books and artists who inspire them,” said Scrawl Books’ owner and founder, Rachel Wood in a press release. “We believe that reading can change the way people understand and relate to the world around them. We are grateful for the support of authors such as Kwame, and love to see the way the community responds when they visit Scrawl Books.”

Alexander’s fans and readers are encouraged to meet on Fountain Drive near the Pavilion at Reston Town Center at 3:45 p.m. to secure a spot in line and say hello to Alexander when the Rebound tour bus pulls in at 4 p.m.

The first 15 people to pre-order Alexander’s book through the store’s website will receive a free t-shirt and a priority spot in the autograph line.

Photo via Scrawl Books

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Scrawl Books Plans Move to Freedom Drive

Scrawl Books, an independent store that opened in late 2015, is turning a page next month.

The store is moving from its pop-up location on 11862 Market Street to 11911 Freedom Drive in mid-February as the building undergoes renovations this year. 

The future site is currently being used as the leasing office for the Signature apartments, a 508-unit residential project with nine levels of underground parking.

“It is a perfect space for Scrawl Books, with room for browsing and our full schedule of author readings, book clubs, and story times,” said Rachel Wood, the bookstore’s owner.

Since November 2016, the bookstore had a pop-up shop on Market Street shared with Truffle Shots and Ella Rue. Over the last year, Scrawl Books sprawled over the entire store, according to Wood. 

A grand opening and ribbon cutting is scheduled for Feb. 18.  As the move takes place, the store is open at Urban Pop at Reston Station on weekdays from 4-8 p.m. and on Sundays at ArtInsights (11921 Freedom Drive). Books can also be purchased online.

Photo courtesy of Rachel Wood

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Friday Morning Notes

Wind Chill Advisory Issued through Midnight — The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory from 6 p.m. through midnight today. The advisory means that frostbite and hypothermia can occur if precautions are not taken. [National Weather Service]

Family, Friends and Neighbors Mourn Death of Reston Couple — Scott Fricker and Buckley Kuhn-Fricker were remembered as earth angels. A 17-year-old Lorton teen has been charged with their murders. [The Connection]

Scrawl Books Says Goodbye to Market Street Store — The indie bookstore closed its location on Market Street and plans to open another store at 11911 Freedom Drive in Reston Town Center in February. [Scrawl Books via Twitter]

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What’s Going On Around Reston This Weekend?

Temperatures are expected to drop this weekend, but there’s still plenty to do outside for all ages ahead of Thanksgiving weekend.

Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.

  • Children between ages 3 and 5 can dabble in the joy of nature through the Walker Nature Center’s “Nutty for Nuts” program on Saturday from 10:30 – 11:30 p.m. at the center. Staff will guide participants through hikes, craft projects and other activities. Parents and caregivers must supervise their children. Tickets start at $6.
  • Need to jumpstart Christmas shopping? Check out the 1st Baptist Church of Herndon’s sale at The Closet (681 Elden St.), a non-profit thrift shop that was founded in 1974. The sale takes place on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.
  • Author Melissa Scholes Young will hold a book reading and signing featuring her book “Flood” on Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m at Scrawl Books (11862 Market St.). The book, which is set in Mark Twain’s neighborhood town.
  • Experience “All-American All the Way,” a free patriotic concert at the Hunters Woods Community Center on 2310 Colts Neck Road on Saturday from 4 to 5 p.m. The concert will include military hymns and will conclude with an appreciation reception.
  • Dive into fall with a harvest-themed wagon ride at Frying Pan Farm Park. The event will include hot cocoa and s’mores around a campfire. Programs begin at 4, 5 and 6 p.m. The cost is $10 and a registered adult must accompany children. Call 703-437-9101 for more information.
  • The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
  • The Reston Community Players’ 2017-18 season continues their presentation of Elton John and Tim Rice’s musical “Aida.” The show, winner of four Tony Awards, will be performed through Saturday at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road). This weekend, the show is being performed at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $27, with student/senior tickets available for $23.
  • Dancers of all skills levels can participate in an afternoon of dance at the Reston Community Center on Sunday between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. The program will include three mini-lessons, door prizes and light refreshments. Dance partners are not required, but you have to be at least 18 years old to participate. The cost if $5 for Reston-residents and $10 for all others.
  • Bird lovers are invited to search for birds in this Bird Walk at the Lower Grade Stream Valley on Sunday from 7:30 – 10:30 a.m. Participants will meet near Glade Drive and Twin Branches Road. No registration is required for this adults-only activity. Walks are sponsored by the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and The Bird Feeder store.
  • Learn about the years spanning between World War I and World War II during Dr. Harry Butowsky’s six-part part lecture series at the Reston Regional Library from 2 – 4 p.m. on Sunday.
  • The exhibit, Reston: The Art of Community, will continue at the Reston Museum (1639 Washington Plaza) this weekend. Produced by Public Art Reston in collaboration with the Reston Historic Trust & Museum, the display showcases the legacy of public art in Reston. The exhibition will be on display through Nov. 26.
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Actor Ed Asner To Visit Reston Next Week for Book-Signing, Movie Screening

By his own admission, Ed Asner is a “dauntless Democrat from the old days.”

The legendary actor will be at Bowtie Cinemas (11940 Market St.) in Reston Town Center on Saturday, Oct. 28 from 2-3:30 p.m. to sign copies of his new book, “The Grouchy Historian: An Old-Time Lefty Defends Our Constitution Against Right-Wing Hypocrites and Nutjobs,” and to chat with fans.

According to the book’s summary, Asner is making the argument that liberals need to step up to challenge “right-wingers who think that they and only they know how to interpret [the Constitution].”

Scrawl Books (11862 Market St.) is selling copies of the book, which will also be for sale at the theater event. Following the book-signing, a screening of Asner’s short film “The Flood” is planned as part of the Washington West Film Festival. Tickets to the film-screening will be sold separately.

Among his many credits, the 87-year-old Asner is likely best known for his role as Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” a character which was later spun off into its own show. He is also well-known by a younger generation for his voice role as Carl Fredericksen in Pixar’s “Up.”

Asner was nominated for seven Emmys for his role as Lou Grant on “Mary Tyler Moore,” winning three. He won two more Emmys for his work on “Lou Grant” and two for his work in other projects, including the acclaimed mini-series “Roots.” Off-camera, he was president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1981-1985.

For more information about the event in Reston, email [email protected].

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What’s Going On This Weekend Around Reston?

Beautiful homes around the community will be on display Saturday during the 16th annual Reston Home Tour.

The tour “focuses on six homes whose owners have moved in within the last few years and whose homes have given them a new perspective on their life, their surroundings and in some cases their attitudes.” The homes on the tour include residences on Bromley Village Lane, Hemingway Drive, Orchard Lane, South Shore Road and Spyglass Cove Lane, as well as at the Stratford condominiums. In addition, Reston Association’s Lake House and Bozzuto’s Aperture apartment building will be open for tour.

Tickets remain available online today for $30. On the day of the event, they can only be purchased in person at any of the homes on the tour or at the Reston Museum and Historic Trust (1639 Washington Plaza N.). All proceeds from the event benefit the Reston Historic Trust and Museum, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the past, informing the present and influencing the future of Reston through its educational programming, archives and exhibitions.

There is plenty else scheduled to take place this weekend in the area as well. Take a look at our list below.

(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.)

  • A trail of illuminated hand-carved pumpkins is welcoming visitors to “THE GLOW: A Jack O’Lantern Experience,” now through Oct. 29 at Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive). Presented by Townsquare Live Events, the “enchanting Halloween wonderland” features a third-of-a-mile trail decorated with more than 5,000 pumpkins. Tickets, which are $16 for kids ages 3-12 and $22 for adults, are available online and must be purchased in advance.
  • Frying Pan Farm Park (2709 W. Ox Road, Herndon) will put on its Fall on the Farm festival this weekend. The event is scheduled for 5-9 p.m. tonight, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. In addition, Farm Harvest Days are slated for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
  • The Children’s Fall Flea Market at Reston Community Center is scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 14 at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road). The price of admission is donation of one non-perishable food item, which will go to the RCC Thanksgiving Food Drive.
  • In celebration of Fire Prevention Week, all Fairfax County Fire and Rescue stations will be hosting an open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Citizens are invited to meet firefighters, see the fire trucks, join in the activities and learn about fire safety. Local stations include Reston (1820 Wiehle Ave.), North Point (1117 Reston Ave.), Herndon (680 Spring St.) and Fox Mill (2610 Reston Parkway).
  • Lake Anne Brew House will hold a fundraiser for the South Lakes High School band, which is raising money to travel to Pearl Harbor, from 7-9 p.m. tonight. The Brew House will donate $1 per pint or soda purchased to the band.
  • The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s “Light the Night” Walk will take place tonight at Reston Town Center. Event festivities will start at 5 p.m., with the 1.5-mile walk to go off at 7.
  • The Runway to the Cure Fashion Show is scheduled for Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon at the Reston Town Center pavilion. Hosted by Scout & Molly’s, RTC and Athleta, the fashion show will highlight many designer fashions. Models are volunteers and include breast cancer survivors, customers and local high school students. Suggested donation is $25. All proceeds will benefit Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
  • Sue Wrbican: Well Past the Echo” will be on view at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through Nov. 18.
  • During “Giraffe-toberfest,” celebrate fall with animals at Roer’s Zoofari (1228 Hunter Mill Road) on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors can meet the zoo’s giraffe “Waffles.” Tickets are $20 and all proceeds will support giraffe conservation.
  • The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
  • Reston Association will hold an open house at The Lake House (11450 Baron Cameron Ave.) from 10-11:30 a.m. Sunday.
  • Author Karen See will discuss her book, “The Should Syndrome,” from 4-6 p.m. Sunday at Scrawl Books (11862 Market St.).
  • Many restaurants and bars in Reston will have live music this weekend. These include Crafthouse (1888 Explorer St.) every Friday and Saturday night from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; and Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) every Friday from 6-10 p.m; and Kalypso’s Sports Tavern (1617 Washington Plaza N.) every Saturday from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
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What’s Going On Around Reston This Weekend?

Things are going to get colorful this weekend at Reston Town Center.

Public Art Reston’s fourth annual ChalkFest kicks off today with professional artists beginning their work, but the big day for the event is Saturday. That’s when, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the event is open to artists of all ages and talents.

Categories for participants are amateur ($15 registration fee), families and kids ($15), and professional ($20). Registration can be done online through today, or at the event Saturday morning.

That’s just one of many events going on around the area this weekend, though. This is officially the last weekend of summer, as the autumnal equinox comes a week from today and brings with it the fall season. The weather forecast calls for plenty of sun and temperatures in the 80s all weekend, though there are chances of a few afternoon showers.

Have fun out there!

(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.)

  • The JamBrew series continues tonight in Herndon. Aslin Beer Co. will be pouring frosty mugs, Weird Brothers Coffee will be offering tasty drinks, Nordic Knot Pretzels will provide tasty snacks, and there will be much more. Live music will be offered from DJ Ragz, The DuskWhales and JUXT. The free event is slated for 6-10 p.m. at the Herndon Town Green (777 Lynn St.).
  • Speaking of Aslin Beer Co., it will be celebrating its two-year anniversary Saturday at 771 Elden St., which will become its permanent home in the coming months. The event, slated for noon to 6 p.m., will feature dozens of guest breweries along with food trucks, live music and much more. General admission is $35, which includes an anniversary glass and five 6-ounce pours.
  • There will be an improv show, presented by Reflex Improv, tonight from 8-9:30 p.m. at Café Montmartre (1625 Washington Plaza).
  • Traditional music trio Lulu’s Fate will perform Saturday from 4-6 p.m. at ArtSpace Herndon (750 Center St.). Tickets are $15.
  • Sue Wrbican: Well Past the Echo” will be on view at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through Nov. 18.
  • The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
  • Lake Anne is also hosting Sunday Yoga on the Plaza each week, at 9:30 a.m.
  • The Herndon Kids Triathlon is scheduled for Sunday at 8 a.m. at the Herndon Community Center (814 Ferndale Ave.). Registration for the event is full; however, volunteers are still needed to help.
  • The Susco 8K and 2K fun run, to promote brain aneurysm and organ donation awareness, will take place Saturday beginning at 8:30 a.m. at South Lakes High School. Registration ($40 for the 8K, $25 for the 2K) can be done the morning of the event.
  • Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) will host Kevin Patti from Clara Barton National Historic Site (National Parks Service) from 2-4 p.m. Saturday. He will present “Between the Bullet and the Hospital,” using photos from the Civil War era to explore the dangers Barton faced and the accomplishments she achieved.
  • Explore the history of Lake Audubon on a guided canoe/kayak exploration from 4-5:30 p.m. Saturday. No experience is necessary, and all equipment (including canoes and kayaks) will be provided. Cost is $10 for RA members and $12 for non-members.
  • Curiosity Day at Scrawl Books (11862 Market St.), Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., will include an appearance by Curious George himself, story time, crafts and more.
  • Pulitzer Prize-winner display “Disgraced,” exploring Muslim assimilation and identity in America, will be performed at NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon) tonight at 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m.; and at a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee. Tickets range in price from $17.50 to $55. A package experience for the Sunday matinee that includes brunch at PassionFish (11960 Democracy Drive) is available.
  • Floris United Methodist Church (13600 Frying Pan Road, Herndon) will present a concert of Christian music through the decades from 5-8 p.m. Sunday. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed in an outfit from their favorite decade.
  • Many restaurants and bars in Reston will have live music this weekend. These include: Vinifera Wine Bar and Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) from 7-10 p.m every Friday and Saturday night; Crafthouse (1888 Explorer St.) every Friday and Saturday night from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; and Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) every Friday from 6-10 p.m.
  • Kalypso’s Sports Tavern (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music from Rusty Cage tonight from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; and DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits during those hours Saturday night.
  • Musician Patty Reese will be performing Saturday from 8-11 p.m. at The Tasting Room Wine Bar and Shop (1816 Library St.).
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Book Launch Event for Kwame Alexander’s ‘Solo’ Slated for Next Week

Children’s author and Reston resident Kwame Alexander and co-writer Mary Hess Rand will launch their new book, “Solo” at Scrawl Books next week.

The book, written in poetic verse, is about a 17-year-old boy named Blade Morrison. Blade tries to deal with his addict father and finds solace in his forbidden girlfriend. When he discovers a family secret, he sets out on a trip around the world.

Scrawl Books and the Newbery Medal-winning Alexander have partnered together throughout the years for school visits, book signings and other events, said Scrawl owner Rachel Wood.

“Kwame has been very supportive of us since we’ve opened,” Wood said. “It’s a really cool cooperative relationship, where we can promote new authors, and authors can find community.”

Next week’s event is open to kids 12 and up, though Alexander says younger children who are mature are welcomed.

Singer/songwriter Randy Preston will be also be part of the event, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2.

Scrawl Books is located at 11862 Market St. in Reston Town Center. For more information, visit its website.

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Thursday Morning Notes

sunrise-over-reston-via-twitter-by-jgs

Commercial Trucks Pulled Out of Service for Safety Violations — Fairfax County Police randomly chose 10 commercial trucks operating in Reston on Tuesday and inspected them for safety compliance. Authorities found 35 safety violations, and four trucks were taken out of service for “serious safety violations.” [FCPD]

Hernon Residents Show Holiday Spirit in Annual Home Tour — Residents throughout the area showcased some of their favorite holiday decorations during the annual Holiday Homes Tour of Herndon. [Reston Connection]

What Lurks in the Woods of Reston? — Local authors Eric MacDicken and Kristina S. Alcorn will sign copies of and speak about their new book, “Myths and Monsters of Reston, Virginia,” at Scrawl Books independent bookstore (11862 Market St.) at Reston Town Center this Sunday from 3-5 p.m. The book details “the phenomenal and frightening findings” of “what lurks in the woods of Reston.” [Scrawl Books]

Winter Coat Closet Open For Residents in Need  The annual Hunter Mill District Winter Coat Closet is now open for underprivileged local residents to come and get a warm winter coat if they cannot afford to buy one. Coats are available now through March 18 in the Community Room of the North County Governmental Building (1801 Cameron Glen Drive). The Closet is also in need of donations of new as well as clean, gently-used coats, jackets, hats, gloves, mittens and scarves through Feb. 16, 2017. [Cornerstones]

Photo of sunrise over Reston via Twitter user @JGS.

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Today: Reston is Getting a Bookstore

scrawl books/Credit: Scrawl Books via FacebookReston has been without a bookstore dedicated to new books since Barnes & Noble closed its doors in early 2013.

As of today, Reston has a bookstore again. Scrawl Books, an independently owned shop, opens Monday at Reston Station’s Urban Pop pop up stores.

Reston resident Rachel Wood, a longtime library employee, has been working on the Scrawl Books project for more than a year.

“We have had [books] coming in the last month or so, and I will have daily restocking from my vendors,” said Wood. She said the store will be at Urban Pop “until we are ready to go somewhere else.” She is still looking for longterm — and bigger — space.

Urban Pop is a row of small (about 100 square foot) retail spaces that Comstock is opening — starting today — on the Reston Station plaza. The stores will be a “curated mix of shops and artisans “that would be of benefit to commuters,” said Comstock spokeswoman Maggie Parker.

Scrawl Books will be open 3-7 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

Wood said Scrawl will hold a “petite” grand opening on Saturday (which is also Small Business Saturday). There will be readings/book signings with Leesburg author Maria Gianferrari (Penny & Jelly: The School Show) at 11 a.m. and Retson author Terry Catasús Jennings (Sounds of the Savannah) at noon. There will also be food from Greenfare in Herndon. Visit Scrawl Books’ website for more information.

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